Thursday, October 22, 2009

Banyan Tree Sanya

Our lovely villa at Banyan Tree Sanya. Even though it rained for a few days it was actually welcoming as the temperature was so high.
View from our bed. Our little munchkin got her own bedroom upstairs so we were able to kick back and relax while she was sleeping. She's a handful these days!
We had a number of meals at the resort. Food was generally ok and a little to the plain side. I guess they want to stay safe and cater to the majority.

The club sandwich was actually not bad but it's pretty difficult to mess it up.
Hainan chicken rice. I have to say I prefer the Singapore version, which has oilier and more fragrant rice. The chicken was tender and fresh though.
There is a Thai restaurant at the resort and we tried a few dishes one night. Nothing jumped out as being extremely good or bad once again.

Prawn cakes.
Stir-fried veg. Very unexciting indeed.
Thai glass noodle salad with seafood. It was probably the best dish as it actually had punch!
Pad Thai. Very average.
Stir-fried crab meat in curry sauce. It was very average once again.
One night we had the in-villa BBQ. There were a couple of themes to choose from, and we opted for meat instead of seafood on this occasion. Loved the romantic set up.
It was a bit cheeky that they used electric BBQs! In Banyan Tree Phuket you get charcoal and the BBQ boy takes care of everything in the far side of the garden. I guess there just isn't enough space to have the same setup in Hainan. Besides, they charge extra if you want a BBQ boy there. We decided to do it ourselves anyway for privacy reason and we were very happy with the quality (and quantity!) of the meal. Everything was superbly seasoned and marinated. Meat and seafood was of good quality too. There was more than enough for 4 and it was definitely the best meal we had at the resort.
Desserts with the BBQ was a little anti-climatic. Mind you we didn't have much room left at the point.

Another lunch at the cafe. The very plain hot and sour soup (what a disgrace)!
My nasi goreng was actually sweet. It was not nice at all.
All in all it was not impressive but at least prices were not too bad (the resort is quite isolated and could easily rip its guests off more). Hainan has such a bad rep on F&B so I guess it could be worse.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Royal China

Our search for good dim sum in Shanghai officially ended when we tried Royal China. Set in the quiet Longemont Hotel it's a 5-min walk away from our place and most importantly the tables are spaced sparsely and it's never too busy and stressful, unlike Crystal Jade.
We tried a number of dim sums and they all tasted reasonably delicious.

My husband's fish congee was enjoyable too.
Our fried rice was also excellent. Fresh and good quality ingredients were used and fried to perfection. We will be back again and again for more.
Royal China
3/F, Longemont Shanghai, 1116. YanAn Rd. West, (nr. Panyu Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 6115-9628

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Myung Dong Dao Mian

I've always loved Korean noodles for their firmer consistency. When my friend C told me about this kalguksu place I begged her to take me there.

On the menu there was also a spicy hot pot soup with beef and noodles (RMB70/person, minimum order 2 pax). I said to C: bring it on!
We got a tray-full of beef and veg for the hotpot. Everything tasted delicious in the spicy broth even though the beef could be leaner for my liking I wasn't complaining.
There was more than enough kimchi on the side. Loved it.
My kalguksu (~RMB40) came in a non-spicy but rich beef broth. In it there were minced meat, carrots, zucchini, and leeks. The noodle was made with wheat flour and water then hand-cut. The texture it soft and tender but not without bite. Loved it!
Last but not least we got to try the massive Korean steamed dumplings (~RMB25). I couldn't believe the size of them! The pastry was nice and thin and the finely chopped meat and veg inside was perfectly seasoned. If I hadn't had 3 bowls of noodles in my tummy I would have had more!
Myung Dong Dao Mian
2/F, Building 5-7, Lane 1051 HongQuan Rd.(nr.JinHui Rd. South), Shanghai. Tel: 3432-3258


My first Seolleongtang and I really have to thank my friend C for showing me this whole new Korean dining horizon in Shanghai. Who would have thought one can get authentic and good quality Korean food at very reasonable prices in Shanghai?

Back to my meal. You know it's serious business when you get 2 huge tubs of kimchi to start with your meal. I should add that I was eating on my own.
My Seolleongtang was full of intense beef flavors. It must have been stewed for hours to get the taste so rich and creamy. In the soup there were slices of beef and I wished there was more. The Korean lady working there was very kind to show me the correct way of eating this soup: I was to mix my rice in the soup and season with spring onions and black pepper. It was delicious! I wolfed it down in no time and very happily paid my RMB35 for the meal. I will be back!
193 JinHui Rd. South (nr. WuZhong Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 3431-8345

Saturday, October 10, 2009


It was a cool but bright day and we thought we would fancy somewhere with garden seating. Mediterraneo fit the bill and I thought our last meal there was OK last time and I was happy to give it another try again.

This time we both went for the 3-course set lunch menu at RMB148/person.
Mu husband's parma ham and melon starter. It was as ordinary as it could be.
My salmon, tomato, and avocado salsa. It didn't disappoint as all the ingredients tasted fresh.
Mu husband's steak. He said it was average.
My home-made ravioli didn't look too promising. The pieces of shredded ham and frozen peas swimming in the overabundant sauce put me off. When I finally managed to fish out the ravioli pieces they were actually delicious. What a surprise!
Some kind of chocolate thing my husband chowed down nonetheless even though he said it was just alright.
My creme caramel was adequate but not delicious. I was after the ice cream anyway and I was happy nonetheless.
All in all a little pricey for what you get in terms of food quality (for example the 4-course set lunch at Issimo is way better for RMB20 more!). I guess it costs to have a nice huge garden to sit out.

1317 Wuding Rd. (nr. Jiangsu Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 5238-9533

Friday, October 09, 2009

Cantina Agave

I don't even remember what we had here since the food was so average it didn't leave an impression. I think it was some kind of burrito and soft chicken tacos. The service however was chaotic and it wasn't even busy. We waited and waited for our nachos and we had to cancel it at the end(meanwhile 4 or 5 nachos were given to customers who arrived and ordered after us). Oh well. It's not like the food will bring us back.

Cantina Agave
291 Fumin Rd. (nr. Changle Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 6170-1310

Pho King

My search for a good pho place in Shanghai continued. Having read all the great reviews on Pho King online I was full of excitement and expectations. From the set lunch menu I picked the Pho King special with all cuts of beef, and it came with an exceedingly sweet and syrupy lemonade.
The special pho was smaller than I had expected. There were just about enough pho to make it a lunch portion and the cuts of beef were stingy too. The small round ball with the size of my pinkie nail floating at 8 o'clock was the one and only beef ball. Then there was a think slice of 2 or 3 kinds of beef for each cut. It was hardly enough! The broth itself was pretty plain and lacked depth. I had to ask for basil, bean sprouts, and extra chili. Ordinary would be a polite way of describing it.
I thought I'd try the appetizer platter while I was there. The satays were very greasy and the spring rolls were disappointing. Other than some finely minced pork I didn't find any vermicelli in them, which was disappointing as it's the very reason why I love Vietnamese spring rolls. The prawn on sugar cane was very greasy too and I lost interest on the fresh prawn rolls.
Curry beef with rice - another disappointment. I didn't even have to taste it to find out it's going to be bad: the color was wrong and there was no curry aroma whatsoever. And what's with the chucks of carrot?
Lunch came to about RMB100 and I guess I will probably eat the pho again if I'm right next door and desperate. Won't be making a special trip down there though.

Pho King
458 Jiangsu Rd. (nr. Yu Yuan Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 3250-5760

cooking at home!

Delia's fast roast chicken with herb butter and lemon.
With my husband's kick-butt roast potatoes!

Tsui Wah

My first visit to the new Tsui Wah branch in Shanghai. Naturally I had to try everything!

I always loved the Malaysian curry dishes in Hong Kong and this version though not as good, it was not too far off. You do have to order rice separate and the portion is very small.
Another Tsui Wah's signature dish in Hong Kong: fish balls with noodles. Even though they were probably the best fish balls I had had in Shanghai so far they were a long way from the real thing. The broth was way too strong with too much MSG. And why was the portion so small?
I thought I'd try the cuttlefish balls as well. There were more fatty pork pieces in the balls than cuttlefish and it was off-putting.
The girls across (yes I had to share a table as the place was packed out during lunch) ordered beef brisket stew, labeled as another Hong Kong signature dish. It looked alright.
Some non-Cantonese dishes from the menu to cater to the locals here supposedly.

Conclusions from my first visit: pricey for what you get. Prices are similar to Hong Kong if not more expensive and yet portions are small and it just doesn't have the same quality as the HK shops. And why all the non-Cantonese dishes when a lot of the other staple dishes are missing? To our great disappointment Yangzhou fried rice and Singapore noodles are not on the menu. Sadly...I will probably go back again as there aren't a lot of options around.

A quick takeaway meal a week later. I couldn't believe how small my Hainan Chicken was. Honestly 6 pieces of chicken at RMB50 is steep.
While the chicken lacked quality and quantity the same goes for the rice and soup. The red chili dip was the only redeeming feature for this disappointing meal and still it gave me lots of grief afterwards. Everything must have been laced with a huge dose of MSG and I suffered all day after. Not worth it!
Tsui Wah
291 Fumin Rd. (nr. Changle Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 6170-1282